June 6. 2020
Photo by @bbbatz
Theres’s a lot of talk about the psychological and emotional pain of this moment. Psychic pain is there for a reason, no different than physical pain. The brain registers pain because there is something that needs to be addressed. Something is wrong. Your arm hurts if it’s broken - why? Because the bone needs to be reset. And our psyche no differently hurts for a reason - because our thoughts, our emotions, our lives need to be reset. So of course America hurts now.
We are experiencing a great reckoning. We’re being thrown off balance in pretty direct proportion to how we’ve thrown the world off balance: from what we’ve done to the earth, to what we’ve done to animals, to what we’ve done to each other. The romanticized “normal” so many say they wish we could back to was in many ways whipped cream on top of a time bomb. And the bomb has started to go off.
I've lived a very good life, and the system has been good to me. I'm grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given, and I know as much as anyone what a blessing this country can be. If you’re in the club in America, no place could possibly be better. The problem, however, is that not enough people can get into the club. Liberty and justice and opportunity are a reality for far, far too few - in this country, and on this earth.
We cannot pretend that that has nothing to do with public policy, foreign and domestic. And if you do pretend, then you’re going to hurt. You’re going to hurt because your heart knows better.
So what do we do with the pain of this moment? The first thing we do is to eschew the notion that we hurt because there’s something wrong with us. Sometimes the fact that you’re upset is actually a sign of mental health! It means something’s working, not that something’s wrong with you. What was wrong was that it took so long for so many of us to wake up to the fact that the world was in agony on so many fronts, not because it had to be but because we allowed it to be.
That was then, and this is now. God knows it’s the eleventh hour but it’s not midnight yet. It will not be easy, but we can change this country. We can elect new people. We can get involved in doing that. We can be alert to what’s happening. We can be part of the conversation. We can refuse to be gaslighted. We can wake up to the reality.
And when we do, you better believe it hurts. Just like the earth has been hurting, and the animals have been hurting, and people treated unjustly have been hurting for far too long.
Let us atone in our hearts for the heartlessness of our country, and take responsibility for a Great Awakening now at hand.
Does the awakening come with pain? Of course it does. When does coming to consciousness ever not hurt? But this is what it means to be a grown-up: to feel the pain, learn from the pain, and change from the pain. Peacock feathers result from of peacocks eating thorns. We’re having to eat all of this now - we have no choice - but in the end we will be more beautiful.